Managing & Leading in a Matrix Organization

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  • 0:04 Managing & Leading Defined
  • 0:36 Matrix Organizational…
  • 1:31 Leading vs. Managing
  • 2:37 Working as a Team
  • 3:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Trudy Hankins

Trudy has been teaching adult learners for more than 15 years and has a master's degree in Organizational Leadership

In this lesson you will learn the difference between leading and managing in a matrix organization. You will also learn why both styles are important.

Managing and Leading Defined

Managing and leading can be defined from multiple viewpoints. So before we dive deeper into the subject of managing and leading within matrix organizations, let's take a quick look at the definitions we'll be using throughout this lesson.

  • Managing is making sure the organization is in alignment
  • Leading is making sure individuals are in alignment

Based on those definitions let's look at how managing and leading can work hand in hand with a matrix organization.

Matrix Organizational Flow Chart

In a matrix organization an employee, whom we'll call Susan, will have two direct reports. In order for Susan to be an effective employee she needs to be able to understand what her role is and who she needs to answer to. Additionally, in order for Susan to have clarity, her direct reports must also have clarity.

Let's assume Susan's organization has a marketing department that Kelvin oversees and a training department that Brian oversees. Susan's task is to be the event coordinator for the latest training her organization is having. Simply put, Kelvin's job is to manage Susan by making sure any marketing details for the event are cohesive with the organization's culture and yet specific to the event. Brian, however, will need to make sure Susan is clear on the vision for the training event. Let's look a little deeper into the differences between Kelvin's and Brian's roles.

Leading vs. Managing

Brian will lead Susan by making sure she knows what the outcome of the training event is supposed to be. Brian will also lead by making sure Susan has the resources she needs to achieve the goals of the training event. He'll find teaching moments to help Susan improve her personal skills and knowledge. Brian will be making an investment in Susan as an employee and will lead her by acknowledging her individuality.

If you are going to lead someone, you cannot give vague directions and no resources. Your team must understand what you see the end results looking like and what resources you have available for them to use. As a leader you are investing in the person and influencing the individual.

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